Utah’s air quality: haze rolling in but a potential storm on the way

Dec 28, 2023, 7:58 PM

Cars make their way up and down State Street as a temperature inversion traps and fills downtown Sa...

FILE: Cars make their way up and down State Street as a temperature inversion traps and fills downtown Salt Lake City with smog on January 31, 2017, KSL Meteorologist Kevin Eubank says bad air quality will linger into the new year, but that a few upcoming storms could clear things out. (George Frey /Getty Images)

(George Frey /Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s air quality looks like it will get worse before it gets better. That’s according to KSL meteorologist Keven Eubank.

“Haze continues all the way through next Wednesday; by Thursday to Friday, we see a storm system taking shape that will likely be here for next weekend.”

The state isn’t completely dry. We’ve had a few little storms come and go, which Kevin said have done some good.

“These little weak storms that try to move in, they kind of mix it up a little bit each day which [keep] it from getting too thick, but we do anticipate that air quality will likely flip into the unhealthy for almost everybody as we head through the very end of this period, which will be by Monday to Tuesday.”

Air quality measurement

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), air quality is measured using the Air Quality Index or AQI.  The AQI functions like a thermometer ranging from 0 to 500 degrees, indicating changes in pollution levels rather than temperature.

Air Quality index

Air Quality index (screenshot from Airnow.gov)

How to fight Utah’s bad air quality

To combat declining air quality, Utah Clean Air suggests the following:

  1. Don’t idle.
  2. Carpool.
  3. Work from home.
  4. Use public transportation (like the UTA Frontrunner).
  5. Adjust your thermostat. Lowering the heat in the house saves energy and reduces emissions.

Clayre Scott contributed to this report.


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Utah’s air quality: haze rolling in but a potential storm on the way